SKOCH Award Nominee
Category: Health – State
Sub-Category: subHealth – State
Project: DMF Health Clinics- 54 mining-affected villages of Lakhpat & Abdasa Taluka in Kutch
Start Date: 2019-09-09
Organisation: District Mineral Foundation- State Nodal Unit, Gujarat
Respondent: Ms Veena Padia, Director
Level: Premium Plus
The mining villages of Lakhpat and Abdasa in Gujarat have been found to suffer from a lack of adequate healthcare infrastructure. Throughout the country, the Health sector in rural and remote areas has not developed at part with the urban centres and this is true for Gujarat as well. These disparities need to be plugged in order to ensure inclusive government services delivery everywhere. DMF prioritises the wellbeing of mining-affected communities as part of its mandate. This project works in the Kutch district of Gujarat.
The mining villages in Gujarat have reported problems of poor basic healthcare infrastructure. The absence of qualified and trained healthcare service providers has created massive challenges for these communities. Specialised doctors are not available locally and the access to even basic medicines is limited. The process of diagnosing health conditions is fraught with problems because of there is little to no development in the pathology and diagnostics landscape. The lack of proper diagnostic tools, equipment and services has made it difficult to correctly identify health problems, which in turn has made treatment vague at best and incorrect, unsuitable and potentially harmful at worst. The villages reported an absence of emergency care services. Residents reported inadequate transport services which meant that people faced hardships even in traveling to other places for better treatment options. Poor mobile connectivity has also made it difficult to seek outside help and intervention.
These systemic deficiencies are further worsened by the absence of proper basic citizen services infrastructure. Water and electricity supply in these villages is compromised, which in turn results in poor living conditions and low health and hygiene standards.
Setting up an advanced healthcare system in remote locations impacted every aspect of the planning and implementation stage and finding and hiring qualified staff was challenging. Choosing an enthusiastic partner agency with adequate experience involved some difficulties. Refurbishment work to improve structures for the new project was hindered by the unavailability of adequate labour.
District Mineral Foundation set up state-of-the-art Health Clinics to address the inadequacies in the local healthcare landscape. This has been done under a PPP mode and uses a Reimbursement Model. A partner agency has been appointed to help the administration keep track of the project and monitor progress. These clinics are manned by MBBS doctors and nursing, laboratory, pharmacy, radiology and support staff.
This project has established pathology labs complete with Gold Standard equipment. Fully-stocked pharmacies are being built to make sure that citizens can easily purchase and receive any medication they require for treatment. The new system uses telemedicine to help connect patients with specialists outside the village. The clinics are being served by Patient Transfer Vehicles for improved transport to other places under its new referral system.
Modern technology is being used to boost operational function and support the diagnostics and treatments. An IT-based MIS is being used to manage registrations. The entire clinics system is tracked using a web-based monitoring system. The improved database management functionality is feeding into the operations and improving overall efficiency. The new system has a built-in automated checking function that crosschecks drug interactions, contraindications and ADRs. Semantic search technology has been used to create an engine that drives differential diagnoses. This engine incorporates 450 parameters and checks for over 11,000 signs, 8000+ symptoms and 300+ risk factors for 960+ diseases.
The quality of healthcare in these villages has improved. 42,500 patients have been helped since 2019. 1,23,000 people from mining-affected areas have benefitted directly.
Because diagnostic and pathology services have been bettered, patients can now receive an accurate and timely diagnosis, which gives them a chance to seek better treatment quickly. Specialists are being roped in to provide advanced medical advice and care. The entire healthcare sector in these villages is now more affordable and accessible.
The web-based IMS has done away with tedious, error-prone manual recordkeeping. The new system is entirely paperless and completely transparent. The automated drug checking function has helped reduce medical errors. These systemic upgrades have improved efficiency, timeliness and accuracy at every level. This means that both ends -the service providers and the beneficiaries- stand to gain from the faster, more reliable infrastructure.
The new pathology labs are outfitted with X-RAY imaging equipment and advanced diagnostic supplies. They can now conduct over 50 tests inhouse.
The availability of medicines and cost-effective treatment options is not only improving the services themselves but is also encouraging citizens to seek help whenever they need it. OPD expenditures have decreased and citizens no longer need to make out-of-pocket payments. People are now more aware of the importance of timely medical interventions and they are also more informed about their own choices. The community is maturing in terms of medical choices and responsible behaviours.
While the programme specifically targets the mining villages, it is all-inclusive and any member of the community can avail its benefits. It is not restricted to the mining-affected areas. Free-of-cost medical services are the cornerstone of a welfare society and Gujarat is a shining example of the same. The department intends to rollout DMF Aarogya Seva Kendra to boost the impact of the project. The project can be replicated in other mining-affected areas and villages. The availability of primary healthcare services is a basic requirement of all people. It is understandable that rural and far-flung places suffer from problems of accessibility, infrastructure and support mechanisms. However, these gaps in services delivery have to be fulfilled in order to achieve holistic development.
For more information, please contact:
Ms Veena Padia, Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
(The content on the page is provided by the Exhibitor)